The Wall Street Journal has Interesting report on how the buildings we’re in (and quite specifically the colour of them) influences our thinking abilities. I wonder if the look of an online survey similarly impacts how people respond to the questions… but I won’t have to worry too much longer! In the not-too-distant future we are going to be testing the same questionnaire with three different aesthetic designs, of course we’ll share the results with you when we get them.
But spaces can also help us to become more creative and attentive. In 2009, psychologists at the University of British Columbia studied how the color of a background—say, the shade of an interior wall—affects performance on a variety of mental tasks. They tested 600 subjects when surrounded by red, blue or neutral colors—in both real and virtual environments.
The differences were striking. Test-takers in the red environments, were much better at skills that required accuracy and attention to detail, such as catching spelling mistakes or keeping random numbers in short-term memory.
Though people in the blue group performed worse on short-term memory tasks, they did far better on tasks requiring some imagination, such as coming up with creative uses for a brick or designing a children’s toy. In fact, subjects in the blue environment generated twice as many “creative outputs” as subjects in the red one.